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Publication . Article . 2012

Our Food: Packaging & Public Health

Luz Claudio;
Open Access
Published: 01 Jun 2012 Journal: Environmental Health Perspectives, volume 120, issue 6, pages a232-a237 (issn: 0091-6765, eissn: 1552-9924, Copyright policy )
Publisher: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Your daily routine has many close encounters with food packaging: For breakfast, cereal from a paperboard box and a can of energy drink. For lunch, canned tuna and a plastic bottle of water. Afternoon snack, a foil-lined plastic bag of potato chips and a shrink-wrapped tray of fruit. By the time you dish up your supper of baked chicken and frozen broccoli, you’ve reaped the benefits of—and discarded—numerous different food-packaging materials. “Packaged food is very convenient. It is nice to have good food that you can grab and go,” says Claudia DeMegret, director of education at the City Parks Foundation in New York. “You try to be conscientious—buy fresh food and recycle. But you also have to wonder about how all this packaging affects the food we feed our kids and . . . how much of it ends up in landfills.” Food packaging does much more than simply hold a product. It keeps food safe and fresh, tells us how to safely store and prepare it, displays barcodes that facilitate purchasing, provides nutritional information, and protects products during transport, delivery, and storage. On the other hand, packaging also fills trash containers and landfills, lasting far longer than the products it was made to contain. It consumes natural resources. And it can also transfer chemicals into our food, with unknown health effects. Our relationship with packaging—you could say it’s complicated.

Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Plastic bag Commerce Food science Food processing business.industry business Product (business) Plastic bottle boats.hull_material boats Purchasing Environmental pollution Paperboard visual_art.visual_art_medium visual_art Food packaging


News | Focus, Bisphenol A (BPA), Chemical Elements, Ecology and Wildlife, Endocrine Disruptors, Energy, Food Safety and Regulation, Industry Issues, Infectious Disease, Laws, Regulations, and Policy, Lead, Metals, Phthalates, Plastics, Recycling, Sustainable Development and Conservation, Trade and Commerce, Water Pollution, Green Chemistry, Waste Disposal, Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis, Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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